Riding Down Stairs

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Riding Down Stairs

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    • #123552

      So ive been riding for a while now, im pretty confident and good at it, hit up diamond and double diamond trails when i see them so not a rookie. but i cant get over my dislike/fear of coming across stairs on the trail. some have a gradual grade, which i take no problem, but everytime i run into a steep set i feel like im going over the handlebars any second. i have yet to actually go over them, but i feel every step, every bump, and its awkward and jittery every time, never smooth on those steep sets. is there a technique to doing these better? or is it just an irrational concern? thanks in advance!

    • #123553

      Keep your weight back? I do know what you mean. What has worked for me is just practice to help you get over the uneasiness, since it sounds like you’re a decent rider.

    • #123554

      The thing with stairs, for me, is when they are spaced such that both wheels drop into the step at the same time.

      The fix for this is 1) go faster and 2) more travel. 😃

    • #123555
      "gar29" wrote

      Keep your weight back? I do know what you mean. What has worked for me is just practice to help you get over the uneasiness, since it sounds like you’re a decent rider.

      yea no doubt drop that ass behind the seat n hold on thats pretty much what i do …. i was hoping theres a special technique but basically just stop being p**** bout it lol … like most MTBing! thanks for the reply

    • #123556
      "eyejustamazeyall" wrote

      [quote="gar29":2ifxsmnh]Keep your weight back? I do know what you mean. What has worked for me is just practice to help you get over the uneasiness, since it sounds like you’re a decent rider.

      yea no doubt drop that ass behind the seat n hold on thats pretty much what i do …. i was hoping theres a special technique but basically just stop being p**** bout it lol … like most MTBing! thanks for the reply[/quote:2ifxsmnh]
      It is understandable. I have a few things that I feel that way about. I like to try to do it again.

      On the other hand, that can make for some fun… I had this one rock garden that always got the better of me. I know the issue was I was going to slow. One day I totally blew and said enough is enough. So, I rode back up the hill and like Maddslacker said, i went faster! I then promptly buried my front end, when over bars and ate sh*t hard! Cut my knee open to the knee cap! Man that was a fun ride back to the truck. Got some horrified looks from all of the blood on my leg by the people I passed on the trail 😆

    • #123557
      "maddslacker" wrote

      The thing with stairs, for me, is when they are spaced such that both wheels drop into the step at the same time.

      The fix for this is 1) go faster and 2) more travel. 😃

      yup this is exactly what i meant … ill work with the speed til i can afford the travel lol. good looks!

    • #123558

      oof! dam hopefully i dont have one of those stories next week!

    • #123559

      i was on a brand new bike (1st or 2nd ride) and still getting it dialed in. i had the rebound on the shock to fast and to slow on the fork. talk about a recipe for disaster!

    • #123560

      Stairs are also the first place you’ll realize that your pedals or cleats are worn out … as they release at the worst possible time. 😃

    • #123561

      adjust rebound

      if it’s set too fast you can pogo stick, and too slow pack up.

    • #123562

      I’ll second on adjusting rebound (faster fork and slower shock). Also, in addition to getting behind saddle, may help lifting front wheel, like wheelie.

    • #123563

      I’ll second on adjusting rebound (faster fork and slower shock). Also, in addition to getting behind saddle, may help lifting front wheel, like wheelie.

    • #123564

      1. Stay super crouched and stay bent at the knees so you can manage the rear wheel repeatedly dropping each step.

      2. Depending on the grade will depend how far behind the saddle you need to be. The steeper the steps, the farther behind the saddle you need to be.

      3. RUBBER BAND ARMS! dont stiffen up, if you stiff arm any terrain then this will get the feel of pitching over the bars! keep your chest low and arms bent. (google motocross attack position) You know you got it right when your pushing the bike through the terrain, not the terrain pushing the bike.

      As for bike setup:
      – Travel will just make the ride smoother, travel cant fix bad weight distribution over the bike.

      – A dropper post will allow you to put your weight where you need it (if your on an AM/XC bike).

    • #123565

      As everyone points out it’s all about being loose in the legs and arms so the bike can bounce around under you. Similar to riding a rough downhill.

      One other pointer is to accept that speed control is limited on stairs since your tries have such little contact. I manage this by coming in super slow, braking slightly on the down to limit acceleration and most important accepting that you’ll be going relatively quick at the bottom.

      As with anything you’re learning start small (say with 5 stairs) and build up as your confidence does. A good reason for an urban MTB ride. My current favorite is on one of my local rides that pops out of the woods and drops down perhaps 25 wooden uneven and often wet steps directly onto a railroad track that you have to get over.

      It seems really scary until you get through it once or twice then it seems kinda easy.

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